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2010-11-04 digital edition

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2010-11-04 / General Stories

Cricket Chaos

Some people have trouble getting to sleep at night. My husband doesn’t have trouble getting to sleep. He simply has trouble staying that way.

I, on the other hand, am asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I stay asleep all night unless there is a sudden gust of arctic wind, a sonic boom, or someone pounces on me. These are all common occurrences in my household.

Last night, there was a sonic boom. Okay, not literally a sonic boom, but when you are sound asleep or trying to get that way, every sound is of the sonic boom variety. Our sonic boom was a cricket.

Clearly, this cricket was excited about something because it never stopped chirping to take a breath.

Our windows were open because my husband prefers to sleep in the cool air. It’s fine with me as long as I have about six inches of warm blankets piled on top of me. The only time it’s a problem is when he returns from one of his nightly meanderings. I think he’s either inspecting the bathroom grout or hunting for owls. Not sure, because I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing at night - sleeping! However, when he returns, he pulls on the blankets and lets air into my warm cocoon. A gust of arctic wind.

We thought the simplest way to solve the excited-cricket problem was to shut the window and turn on the ceiling fan. We closed the window. Blessed silence. for about 30 seconds. Then, CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRPITY, CHIRP.

“For the love of Pete!..”

We circled the room listening for the cricket. If we could find it, we could at least chase it out the door.

I thought it was on the curtains.

shook them, hoping to scare it out and I broke a curtain rod. Great. The crazy cricket is now costing us money.

My husband thought if he turned the light on in the bathroom, the cricket would move toward the light. It seems this cricket likes the dark.

We zeroed in on the sound and stood exactly where it should be, but it wasn’t there.

Maybe it was in the heat vent and the sound was redirected and echoing loudly. What if we turned on the heat? Would the cricket be so uncomfortable that it would leap out of hiding?

As it turns out, crickets like heat as well.

That lone cricket chirped merrily for what seemed like hours while we searched for him. Finally, we decided that if we stopped looking for it, the cricket would eventually stop chirping.

We crawled back into our bed and pulled the blankets up over our ears to drown out the incessant chirping.

The window was closed, the heat was on and the ceiling fan was blowing hot air around the room. We started peeling off blankets. An hour later, we were lying on our bed, stark naked, roasting and wide awake while that stupid cricket chirped the William Tell overture.

Clearly, a new game plan was in order here.

The heat didn’t help. We turned it off. We turned off the bathroom light which had collected all the other bugs in the house, except Liberace. (He had been with us, now, long enough to name him.)

Let’s recap. We now had bugs in our bathroom, a broken curtain rod, blankets strewn hither and yon and, worst of all, we were wandering around our equatorial bedroom, naked, at two in the morning looking for an elusive cricket named Liberace. As sleepless nights go, it doesn’t get any worse than that.

First things first. My husband opened the window to cool off the sauna that our bedroom had become. Outside, there seemed to be a million Liberaces singing in frenetic glee. We groaned.

The blankets were placed back on the bed and we fell back into it, prepared to spend the night trying to sleep in spite of our unwanted guest.

Suprisingly, the symphony of crickets outside was a calming backdrop to Liberace’s aria. I don’t know what time the concert ended, because our cricket cacophony had actually put us to sleep.

The lesson here: If one cricket is driving you bonkers, simply recruit a whole crock of them (or whatever a bunch of crickets is called) and they will send you into La La Land. Go figure!

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